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WRF Model Version 3.5: UPDATES

WRF Model Update

The WRF model tar file has been updated to Version 3.5 on April 18, 2013. For known problems in V3.5, please click here.

The WRF Pre-Processing System (WPS) has been updated to Version 3.5.

Note: V3.5 WRF can use wrfinput and wrfbdy files from earlier V3 versions only if one sets iso_temp = 0 K in namelist &dynamics and this is necessary if one doesn't use this namelist already. If one uses this option already, please leave it in. This is important as the default value for iso_temp has been changed from 0 to 200 K in V3.5.

As always, be cautious when using new options.

If you are interested in seeing how V3.5 has been tested, click here.

New in Version 3.5:


- Land surface models:

* Community Land Model Version 4 (CLM4) from CAM (Oleson et al. 2010; Lawrence et al. 2010): CLM4 was developed at the National Center for Atmospheric Research with many external collaborators and represents a state-of-the-science land surface process model. It contains sophisticated treatment of biogeophysics, hydrology, biogeochemistry, and dynamic vegetation. In CLM4, the land surface in each model grid cell is characterized into five primary sub-grid land cover types (glacier, lake, wetland, urban, and vegetated). The vegetated sub-grid consists of up to 4 plant functional types (PFTs) that differ in physiology and structure. The WRF input land cover types are translated into the CLM4 PFTs through a look-up table. The CLM4 vertical structure includes a single-layer vegetation canopy, a five-layer snowpack, and a ten-layer soil column. An earlier version of CLM has been quantitatively evaluated within WRF in Jin and Wen (2012; JGR-Atmosphere), Lu and Kueppers (2012; JGR-Atmosphere), and Subin et al. (2011; Earth Interactions) (Thanks to Jiming Jin of Utah State Univ. and Yaqiong Lu of UC Merced).
* University of Arizona snow physics for Noah: treatment of snow related to vegetation canopy (Wang, Z., et al., 2010: Improving snow processes in the Noah land model, J. Geophys. Res., 115, D20108, doi:10.1029/2009JD013761). (Thanks to Xubin Zeng, University of Arizona; Zhuo Wang, NASA; Michael Barlage, NCAR)

- Microphysics option:

* CAM 5.1 2-moment microphysics scheme. Can interact with WRF-Chemistry (Thanks to PNNL)
* Two NSSL 1-moment options. (Thanks to T. Mansell of NSSL).

- Deep and shallow cumulus options:

* Grell-Freitas ensemble scheme (paper coming): An improved GD scheme that tries to smooth the transition to cloud-resolving scales as proposed by Arakawa et al. (2004)
* Global/Regional Integrated Modeling System (GRIMS) shallow scheme (Hong et al. 2013 APJAS). (Thanks to Songyou Hong, Junhong Lee and Jihyeon Jang of YSU)

- PBL option:

* Grenier-Bretherton-McCaa PBL (Grenier and Bretherton 2001, MWR): this scheme has the same origin as UW PBL. Tested for marine boundary layer. (Thanks to Natelie Perlin of Oregon State Univ)

- WRF-Hydro: An initial suite of hydrological physics parameterizations to represent routing (horizontal movement) processes including, groundwater transport, overland flow and streamflow. It is also a coupling framework for coupling additional hydrologic and land surface models to WRF. For more information and code download, please see

- Others:

* Input to atmospheric radiation option: time-varying green-house gases for CAM/RRTM/RRTMG longwave radiation options - contains values for 250 years from 1765 to 2500. Future scenarios of A2, A1B, RCP4.6, 6 and 8.5 are provided. (Thanks to Claire Carouge of UNSW, Australia, Luis Fita and Jesus Fernandez, Universidad de Cantabria, Spain, Rowan Fealy, Nat. Univ. of Ireland Maynooth)

* RRTMG: options to use CAM ozone data (o3input=2), and Tegen climatological aerosol (aer_opt = 1)

* topo_wind=2: a simpler terrain-variance-related correction, and it works for YSU PBL. (Thanks to Cliff Mass and David Ovens of UW)

* seaice initialization: option to use default value or read in from input file (ICEDEPTH). Special input required. (Thanks to Byrd Polar Research Center, Ohio State Univ.)

* snow depth on seaice: bounded by min and max (controlled by namelists), or read in from input (SNOWSI). Special input required. (Thanks to Byrd Polar Research Center, Ohio State Univ.)

* PWP 3D ocean model with simple initialization (Thanks to Chiaying Lee and Shuyi Chen of Univ. of Miami)

* option to use NSBD/NUDAPT data over US for urban options. (Thanks to Tim Glotfelty and Jason Ching of NCSU)
* NLCD 2006 40-category data: works for slab, Noah, and PX LSM. (Thanks to Rob Gilliam and Jon Pleim of EPA)

* Lightning parameterization without WRF-Chem. (Thanks to John Wong of CU)


- Default temperauture value for reference state in the stratosphere has been changed from 0 to 200 K. This is to ensure reasonable reference state used when model top is higher than 50 mb, and will change how the eta levels are computed in program real. If you use wrfinput file produced by previous versions of the model, make sure you include iso_temp = 0 in the namelist &dynamics.

Improvements and Bug fixes:


Atmospheric Radiation:

- FLG option: bug fix for low model tops. Aerosol off by default (aerosol option requires input)
- Goddard option: limit ice effective radius to between 25 and 125 um
- Constants used for RRTM radiation have been changed for CO2 from 330 to 379 ppm, N2O from 0 to 319 ppb, and CH4 from 0 to 1774 ppb. These constants are now the same as those used in RRTMG. This change will make lower atmosphere and surface slightly warmer.


- Thompson: minor update. Also a fix for computing radar reflectivity.
- Morrison: correct for too much ice in anvil cloud; for accelerated melting from collisions, should use rain mass collected by snow, not snow mass collected by rain.
- WDM5/6: limit rain and cloud number concentrations using smaller max and min slope parameter values. Helps to reduce strong radar reflectivity and rain rates
- WDM6/WSM6: fix for computing time-step graupel
- NSSL 2-moment options: sedimentation change and bug fixes


- CAM-ZM: changed time-scale for CAPE removal (tau) from constant 3600 s to grid distance-dependent.
- NSAS shallow:a significant bug fix which will allow shallow convection to activate.

Planetary boundary layer physics:

- Boulac: a Troen-Mahrt gamma term option is added
- MYJ PBL: diagnosed PBL height corrected
- MYNN: Option to (not) advect qke (bl_mynn_tkeadvect). (Thanks for Joe Olson of NOAA)

Surface physics:

- NoahMP:

* Improvements to energy balance and distribution of energy over vegetated/non-vegetated portions of a grid cell
* Made vegetation fraction consistent with radiation vegetation density
* New source code module for Noah-MP glacial treatment
* Clean up and restructure of Noah-MP driver code
* Bug fixes to 2-m diagnostic calculation within Noah-MP

- corrected parameters in SOILPARM.TBL (Thanks to Peter Shellito of CU)
- An alternative snow-cover physics in Noah, aimed particularly toward improving treatment of snow as it relates to the vegetation canopy. Also uses new columns added in VEGPARM.TBL (Wang, Z., et al., 2010: Improving snow processes in the Noah land model, J. Geophys. Res., 115, D20108, doi:10.1029/2009JD013761) (namelist option ua_phys)
- Glacier physics separated from land physics for Noah and NoahMP
- RUC LSM: bug fixes for coupling with YSU and MYNN; seasonal variations of land-surface properties; increased roughness length for forest and cropland to correct high-wind biases; use of exponential formulation to compute grid-cell averaged roughness length; fixes in frozon soil moisture transport.
- SSiB: fix for sea ice


- namelist omlcall has been changed to sf_ocean_physics (to accommodate more ocean options)
- two cam shallow convection routines renamed
- fire routines are renamed


- minor bug fix for gridded nudging

Stochastic kinetic-energy backscatter scheme:

- perturbed BC using SKEBS (namelist option perturb_bdy)


- Diagnostic output of output-interval maximum of surface wind, max up- and down-draft velocity, column-mean w (eta between 0.8 to 0.5),
2-5 km helicity, column-integrated graupel and max column-integrated graupel, activated by namelist option nwp_diagnostics. (Thanks to NSSL)
- wrfbdy file name may be changed using bdy_inname namelist
- restart fix: change IO interval in restart with FDDA, sst_update
- Vertical profiles of U, V, geopotential height, potential temp, and water vapor mixing ratio. This is done the same as 2D time-series. More information in run/README.tslist. (Thanks to Torge Lorenz from Uni Research in Bergen, Norway)
inline trajectory code for pre-specified parcels (Thanks to Chiaying Lee of U of Miami)
- ndown can produce mp variables in bc file (but WRF cannot use them yet. Will update in 3.5.1.)
- grib 1 & 2 tables updated
- rsl files will be automatically removed before new ones are written.


- All vertical levels in the namelist templates have been changed to 30 to accommodate minimum vertical layer thickness requirement when iso_temp is changed to 200 K.


New Features:
- netCDF4 compression capability (for details, please click on this)
- Added support for FX10 (Thanks to Fujitsu)
Intel Xeon Phi Many Integrated Core (MIC)

* Modify shared memory tiling algorithm so that tiles are calculated only once per zone per domain.
* Thread the packing and unpacking of MPI messages (will improve performance of all dm+sm runs)
* special optimized version of WSM5
* a couple of other miscellaneous performance mods that should help on Xeon Sandybridge (SNB)

(Thanks to Larry Meadows, Alexander Knyazev, Indraneil Gokhale, Rezaur Rahman, Antonio Valles, Ruchira Sasanka, and Mike Greenfield of Intel, and John Michalakes at NREL)

- Improved OpenMP use (Thanks to many at Intel, Jeff McDonald and Todd Hutchinson of WSI, Pete Johnsen and James Schwarzmeier of Cray, and John Michalakes at NREL)
- make dependency
- diffwrf updated


Previous Update

WRF V3.0.1
WRF V3.0.1.1


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